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Cheap Survival Kit Review

Does not meet our minimum performance requirements to sell on our store

Features

  • Multi Tool
    • Knife
    • Bottle Opener
    • Saw
    • 2 x Screwdrivers
    • Pliers
  • Whistle / Waterproof Capsule
  • Flint and Steel
  • Compass
  • Saw
  • Card Knife

In short: This is better quality than a lot of the more official-looking cheap survival kits on the market, but it’s still not something that will last through much use. That said, we were still surprised by the initial durability of the multi tool, and the saw didn’t break on us, so that’s something.


Multi Tool: Much better than we thought. The flashlight is a nice touch, and the fact that it works and seems relatively durable is a bonus. The saw is pretty much useless.
Flint and Steel: It’s a bit short. A good flint will be at least 4 inches long in order to get a good sustained spark. This one is about 2.
Saw: Pretty dull, but we were surprised that it didn’t break on us.
Compass: Not reliable.
Card Knife: Thicker than we thought, and will stand up to more use than the card knives included in other kits.

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LIXADA 3000W Backpacking Folding Gas Stove Review

Ratings

Set up5 / 5
Ignition4 / 5
Flame Adjustment3 / 5
Durability4 / 5
Packing5 / 5

Features

  • Stainless Steel legs and grill
  • Riveted joints
  • 1.5 quartz of water from 60° to boiling in 8 minutes
  • Piezo igniter

In Short: The LIXADA 3000W Backpacking Stove is a good investment for the backpackers or campers who are just starting out. It’s easy to set-up, the connections are quality, and it’s guaranteed to light. The flame does pretty well in breezy conditions, and while the adjustment valve was a little touchy, you’re going to get 1.5 quarts of water from 60 degrees to boiling in about 8 minutes.


Click. Whoosh! Ahhh, that’s the sound of the ignition of a
LIXADA 3000W Backpacking Stove. There are a few sounds of camping that everyone can relate to: the crackling of campfires at night and the whoosh of the camping burner being lit in the early morning.

Often overlooked in the camping experience, propane or butane burners and stoves will make or break your camping experience. In the morning, all you’re going to want is something hot, and trying to get a burner lit is the last thing you want to worry about.

We put the LIXADA 3000W Backpacking Stove through a series of tests that give us confidence that the performance of inexpensive propane / butane burners can be consistent with their more expensive peers.

We tested the piezo igniter by performing 100 ignites in a row with minimal reset. The LIXADA 3000W Backpacking Stove showed no signs of wear, and we’re confident that we’re going to keep getting the same performance over and over again.

Our biggest concern was the joints. With any gear, joints and connections are the weakest spots, and we find that inexpensive gear often fails in basic stress tests. So, we designed tests that would identify weak spots quickly.

We extended all legs and dropped the stove on to a rocky terrain from a distance of about 5 feet. We examined the straightness of the legs and the integrity of the rivets, and we were surprised that there was very little evidence that the stove had been dropped. We ran the test a few more time and noticed one of the legs became misaligned. It didn’t change the performance of the stove, and we were able to bend it back in place.

We didn’t notice any warping of the legs or grill after leaving the burner running for 15 minutes at a time over the course of 5 tests.

We were unhappy with the valve. When we reduced the gas flow, the valve would open up a bit on its own. We had to fiddle with it a few times to get it to stay in the spot we wanted.

Overall, we were satisfied with the durability and performance of the stove for its price point. It even earned a place in the regular gear bag from one of our editors.

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Boruit 5000 Lumen Headlamp Review

Ratings

Brightness5 / 5
Durability4 / 5
Waterproof2 / 5
Packing5 / 5

Features

  • 3 x CREE T6 LEDs for incredible night visibility
  • Rechargeable battery
  • AC and car adapter power cords
  • Adjustable elastic headband
  • Water resistant design

In short: Boruit 5000 Lumen Headlamp is a very powerful headlamp that is great for night hikes. It will light up the trail ahead of you so you’re prepared for any obstacles that are just out of view in the dark. While it has been advertised as waterproof, this is simply not the case; however, it will hold up to being dropped in a puddle of water or stream. Just don’t leave it in there too long.


When we first looked at the product, we were surprised by the size of the battery pack. It’s fairly heavy, and we were concerned about how it would feel when being worn. This wasn’t as big of a problem as we thought, and we liked the amount of light emitted as well as how long the charge lasted.

The overall construction of the headlamp is rock solid. The pivot for the lamp itself has great position stability and clicks into place easily. The adjustable bands stay where they need to through hours of wearing, and we had no concerns about it slipping off our head.

We were very impressed with the light output and the difference between the two settings. One thing that is common with all types of headlamps is the brightness selection. Typically, you have to cycle through high and medium to get to low. When your eyes have adjusted to the darkness, turning on a super bright light for just a second can cause a bit of night blindness as your eyes readjust to the night. Unfortunately, because this headlamp is so powerful, we’d recommend using this specifically for night or dusk hikes and not really around the campsite unless you’re cooking dinner and need constant light.

The Boruit 5000 Lumen Headlamp did not meet our expectations for being waterproof (as claimed on other sites). The reality is that if you drop it in a stream or puddle, the light is going to be fine provided you pick it up in short order; however, if you leave it fully submerged for a few minutes, water will get into the device and cause it to stop working. Over here, we call this water resistant. After a night of drying, the button to turn it on is still not reliable, which may mean there is still some water in the button itself.

As for the impact test, we dropped the headlamp on a variety of terrain and heights and it survived everything. Despite a pretty weak battery cover, the batteries remained tight in the pack.

Overall, we’re satisfied with the product despite becoming waterlogged after 5 minutes of submersion.

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Collapsible Tent Lantern Review

Ratings

Brightness5 / 5
Durability5 / 5
Waterproof4 / 5
Packing5 / 5

Features

  • 30 LED lights
  • Reflective lenses
  • Handles designed for easy carry / hanging
  • Powered by 3 x AA battery (not included)

In Short: This economical camping lantern is a great durable and light addition to your camping gear, home emergency supplies, or whatever. It passed our drop and water tests and earned the subtle nod of approval from our editors.


We were skeptical of the more economical lanterns. We’re used to the standard camping lantern that makes a statement on the camp table. So, when we were asked to review the 60 Lumen Collapsible Lantern, we were prepared and hoping for some great stress test failures. We were disappointed.

First, the light lasts. We stopped testing at 3 hours, and there was only minimal dimming. Since this light is perfect for the tent and short night trips to the bathroom, you won’t have to worry about replacing your batteries on the trip.

The entire thing (except for the handles) is made out of a relatively light-weight hard plastic, which can be more prone to cracking when compared to rubberized plastics. The telescopic opening is relatively smooth, but there is a bit of wobble when extended. If there is any failure in this product, we’d expect it to be the locking mechanism that keeps the lantern open; however, our tests have not demonstrated this to be an issue.

When submerged, the unit eventually took on water; however, the light continues to work. You’ll just have to hang it out to dry.

We put the 60 Lumen Collapsible Lantern through a number of tests to mimic the drops and kicks that happen on the trail. Despite repeated high-cliff drop tests on a variety of terrain, the unit continued to perform as expected (including the smooth collapsible motion). The one adjustment that we had to make after several drops was to the batteries: They came loose and needed to be tightened. Ultimately, this is not a persistent or unfixable problem and hardly worth a mention.

We also submerged the lantern in water for 10 minutes, then put it through its standard operations, and the lantern continued to work. The housing is not waterproof; however, since the light continued too work during and after the water test, we were satisfied with the results.

Overall, we were impressed with the performance of this economy camp lantern. While the light radius isn’t as strong as you’d need for a table of people, this is certainly a great addition to tent lighting or trips to the bathroom.

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Economy Camping Knife Review: MTech, Tac-Force, and Survivor

Camping knives need to be durable. They should be able to handle a variety of tasks from as simple as cutting rope to splitting wood. There are a number of knives on the market that are great for first-time campers and are within a reasonable price range. For our purpose, we wanted to see what would hold up to the car camping experience. This includes cutting rope, creating a feather stick, and splitting wood (specifically campfire wood you’d find in stores). Then there are the basics of general feel of the knife: Is it comfortable to hold and use?

Mtech Tactical Minimalist Rescue Spring Assist

Application Tests

Feather Stick: Poor
Splitting Wood: N/A
Rope: Clean cut

How it Feels

The Mtech Tactical Minimalist Knife’s balance point is just below the bolster, giving you good control over the blade when performing basic tasks. The beveled tip adds more cutting angles, but it also makes it a bit more dangerous when using. The handle is cut in a way to display the design of the blade; however, this creates an uneven hold. It feels that a quarter of the handle is missing. In a men’s large hand, it was a little uncomfortable to hold for any extended use. We did like the addition of the glass breaking tip and bottle opener on the butt of the knife. It’s a good car camping knife for smaller tasks around the campsite.


Mtech Xtreme Tactical Knife

Application Tests

Feather Stick: Good
Splitting Wood: N/A
Rope: Clean cut

Hot it Feels

The Mtech Tactical Knife is a solid knife with a good balance between the blade and the handle. It’s heavy enough to know that you’re holding a tool, but it’s not excessive. The blade stuck a bit when opening, and the spring wasn’t able to push the blade to the fully open position, which can be a hazard; however, it’s not something that loosening the pivot screw didn’t solve. This amount of adjustment of the Mtech Tactical appears to be typical for economy knives; however, the knife fit comfortably in the hand when cutting kindling.


Tac-Force Speedster Tactical Knife

Application Tests

Feather Stick: Good
Splitting Wood: N/A
Rope: Clean cut

How it Feels

Out of the box, the spring assist on the Tac-Force Tactical Knife wasn’t strong enough to open the blade to the fully locked position. This can create a hazardous scenario if you’re expecting it to open on the first flick. Loosening the pivot screw helped a lot. Overall, the knife had a good feel in the hand with the fingers fitting comfortably around the handle. There was no noticeable give in the blade when in the open position.


Mtech Tanto Combat Blade

Application Tests

Feather Stick: Great
Splitting Wood: Great
Rope: Clean cut

How it Feels

The Mtech Tanto Combat Blade is a heavier knife compared to the other fixed blades; however, that’s due to the construction. Unlike the Mtech Stealth and Survivor Outdoorsman knives, the Mtech Tanto Combat Blade has a full tang, which means that there’s one piece of steel from tip to butt. This design adds a ton of strength to the knife, and we’d expect it to hold up for many seasons of camping.  We wish the handle pads were the same size as the tang. As it is, the tang peeks out on either side creating ridges that can dig into the hand when applying a lot of force. This is by design, and unfortunate, because we really enjoyed this knife. The tanto-style blade is a nice addition and creates another angle that grabs on to the wood for a longer slide.


Survivor Fixed Blade Outdoorsman Knife

Application Tests

Feather Stick: Moderate
Splitting Wood: Moderate
Rope: Clean cut

How it Feels

The Survivor Fixed Blade Outdoorsman Knife fits solidly in the hand and responds well to a variety of tasks. There’s a slightly noticeable gap between the decorative wood handle and metal bands that we believe may lead to cracking sometime down the line, but we anticipate this knife to maintain it’s integrity season after season. The snap on the sheath is easily undone with the thumb, making the knife easily accessible.


Mtech Fixed Blade Stealth Survival Knife

Application Tests

Feather (Fuzz) Stick: Good
Splitting Wood: Good
Rope: A bit toothy

How it Feels

The Mtech Stealth Survival Knife handle is considered a ‘tennis’ handle due to the rubberized plastic and designed texture for grip. If we were tasked with a lot of kindling, we may consider another knife; however, the extra compartment for the survival supplies is a nice touch. The compass is passable, but it’s not adequate for proper orienteering, and we’d be hesitant to recommend relying on it solely when you’re on the trail. The snap to release the knife from the sheath requires a little bit more leverage than some of the other knives we tested, but it’s by no means a struggle to get to the tool. The Mtech Stealth Survival Knife is a lighter than the others reviewed due to the hollowed handle, which is designed to house emergency supplies like waterproof matches, a compass, and a line. The knife is relatively well-balanced given it’s overall weight.